Zamfara Government says it is to produce about 13,000 metric tonnes of rice from the ongoing special pilot dry season farming under its Comprehensive Agricultural Revolution Programme (ZACAREP).
The Special Adviser to the Governor on ZACAREP, Alhaji Aminu Dankwangila, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gusau on Thursday.
Dankwangila said the programme, which started from Gummi Local Government Area, was meant to complement the Federal Government’s efforts to revive agriculture to ensure food security and self sufficiency in the country.
“We selected Gummi Local Government Area from the 14 local government areas of the state to start the programme,’’ he said.
He said that 2,000 farmers, out of 2,150 that applied for the programme were registered and each given nine bags of fertiliser, improved seeds, agro chemicals and pumping machines.
Dankwangila further said that each of the farmers was given N50, 000 cash for labour.
“We mobilised the farmers to cultivate one hectare of land each, that amounts to 2,000 hectares.
“We are targeting the production of 6.5 metric tonnes of rice per hectare and if you multiply 6.5 by 2,000, it will give you 13,000 metric tonnes of rice,” he said.
He, however, stressed that all the farm inputs were given to the farmers as loan, adding that they were expected to pay back with part of the produce.
“We have come up with the guaranteed minimum price of N14,000 per bag to encourage farmers; we will buy each bag of rice at N14,000 instead of N10,000 market price.”
“We gave them this loan through the local committees made up of traditional rulers and representatives of farmers’ associations at ward and district levels.
“We are going to use the same channel to collect back the loan; we are calling on the farmers to comply with the repayment agreement.’’ (NAN)